What a Great Ride it Has Been

             “In youth we learn; in age we understand.” – Marie Ebner-Eschenbach

This morning I opened my eyes and thought of the amazing ride I have been on. I sat up in bed and fell into my morning ritual; I meditated, prayed and contemplated on being sixty-five years old. I’m amazed by this lifetime I have journeyed. My personal ride began with what I labeled as a child of this inner feeling I called, “the blues!” Today I imagine it was just fear as a child that confused me. Being scared, afraid or terrified at a young age was the norm such a long time ago. Still the feelings sit deep within my heart even today. Tears can overflow at the inner conflict for my inner child of yesterday. There was a time I buried her deeply only to discover I could not breathe without her. I realize today that fifteen years ago I embraced her holding on to my eyelids and offered her love. It was time for her to resurface and know her truth. We began a new ride. The memories of my youth are filled with drinking fighting and abusive behavior between my dad and mom. Fear filled our home only because Friday nights dad came home drunk. Mom became embarrassed and totally afraid of him!


“You must learn to make your whole world your school.” -Martin H. Fischer

I know that I am not the only woman to have grown up in a house with an alcoholic/manic-depressant or fearful/critical parent. In fact, I realize as a child I had no understanding of these types of labels. I did not know the ride would take me through abandonment, abuse, fear, pain, tears, death and lies over and over again. Death is a part of life but sudden unexpected deaths are terrifying at any age. My only brother to die by a drunk driver, my oldest nephew to be murdered then my beloved dad to  die of lung cancer. I know that at times there was great laughter and love going up but coming down that roller coaster  could almost make me topple over and crash when the fears arose.

 “Why be anything other than good? Why do anything other than love!” –Johnathan Dahl

 However, here I sit as a whole woman, loved, fulfilled, happy and amazed with gratitude for the experiences of my lifetime. I live a good life! I admit I struggle still today when those I love are unkind, critical or judgmental of one another. It is those times that my inner child comforts me with a memory of me climbing a tree at McCarren Park, swimming at Coney Island or just drinking Mountain Dew and eating pretzels on the stoop. It was the simplicity of yesterday that encourages me to love unconditional. I’m thrilled with the joyous memories of my childhood today because those were the moments that pushed me forward. The fearful dark memories are drifting further and further away from my inner sight.

            “If you don’t like how things are, change it! You’re not a tree.” – Jim Rohn

I blame no one for the ride I chose to take because at this time in my life I believe I am an amazing  wife, mother and grandmother. How did I get to this time in my life believing that my life is wonderful? It always comes back to the simple parts of the ride I believe. When my dad was dying he looked at me and said, “I had a wonderful life so don’t cry for me because you are gong to die one day too!” That was in 1998 and finally I get it!

At forty years old he attempted suicide and lived the next thirty years in and out of mental institutions supported and loved by me and my husband for anything he needed. Weekly visits were the norm when he was not hospitalized but living in an adult home facility and happy no matter what. A true loved of Mother Nature he taught me to respect her as well. With forgiveness, acceptance, kindness, unconditional love, and not taking anything personal I made these beliefs my tools. Meditation, prayer and writing in my journal are my supplements to the ride. Knowing I am connected and blessed are my gifts today.


  “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to ones courage.” – Anais Nin

There will always be ups and downs because there is so much to learn in the greatest of classes in life called relationships. To love, hate, fear, and anger are the cornerstones of all relationships until we end any form of confrontation, control, and criticism. There came a time on my journey when the abandonment issues of my mom settled deep within to thug at my heart. After repeated abandonment episodes like her moving to Puerto Rico because her son had died and there was no reason for her to stay in New York I would cringe at her words for a very long time. It was my dad who told me she was not a smart woman and to forgive her. Today I know I am the person I am because of her and that I would not have been able to know my gifts and talents if she remained by my side. Could this have been a contract we agreed on prior to birth?

When I discovered what an amazing ride I have experienced because of the choices and changes I made, I filled with a deep sense of gratitude. At this age I know when I sit and color with gel pens for an hour or so my inner child is happy. If I choose to take a walk, read a good book or practice some yoga poses I have reconnected with the simplicity of life that fills me with joy. When I share my wisdom with others through counseling, workshops, blogging and talking I am being of service. The wisdom we all possess rests deep within and needs to be connected to so that peace can be part of the ride. The time will come when everyone gets the chance to get off their amazing roller coaster ride and live a loving, peaceful existence. Know it is possible as I do! When you exit you will breathe a feeling of contentment and smile as you remark, “what a great ride it has been!”

Meditate! Pray! Journal!

http://www.LindaAmato.com

LA Believes

What am I looking for? I have Asked myself. Those who I love and cherish have also asked this question of me!

In the past I was looking for my belief in life, is the answer I was given. At this stage of my path I wanted answers to yesterday’s life. It seemed to me that my present life was transforming. I had a secret that I held close to my heart because I was unaware of the outcome but a desire pushed me forward to find my freedom, my belief, and unconditional love for me and for all.

I was not able to tell you back then who I was going to be or how I was going to go about being who I am today but there was an inner light that connected me in knowing that I was returning to me. I don’t know if this makes sense but I had to go back to the beginning of this life experience and find something. I  was developing a process through meditation where I began to understand for myself that my life has been about lessons and that everything happens for a reason.

The first lesson I learned was that we are all teachers and that Earth is a classroom where we are to learn to love one another by awakening from our dream state and remember our truth. I began with my parents and the lessons I learned from them.  This filled me with a deeper love and understanding for their own lives and the reasons they were who I chose this lifetime to learn from.

My dad taught me the true meaning of unconditional love for every human being, strangers included and the beauty of Mother Nature. An avid walker, he showed me how to bask in the sunlight, dream and appreciate the beach, parks and stars. It was his voice that spoke to me of kindness, love and respecting all of life. True acceptance of him allowed me to accept all and I must say to never be embarrassed of another’s actions. On this his 15th year Anniversary of passing I smile with the memory of our walks and talks. I miss you dad!

My mom taught me to favor no one and to do my responsibilities as a wife and mother with love and a song in my heart. I travelled with her on a journey of truth and found that truly we are all taught by our parents and I made a point to always remember that I was setting an example for my children because of her. Her wisdom and pain I realized were erased by those that she believed she had to listen to because of the generation she was born into. She never had the chance to have her voice and to follow her  dreams but as her daughter, hopefully I helped her to live through me and know she was a great teacher, mom and friend who I truly learned so much from. The pains, fears and sorrow she carried in her heart this lifetime has allowed her to finally escape from it all. She has dementia now and how I would love to hear her voice when I speak to her say, “hi, Lyn!”

My path has been a deep journey of discovery which I shall continue to embrace and share.